From 2014, Gengahr’s rapid rise into the limelight has been a breeze. Their steps into music industry were less tentative compared to other bands, with their debut single, Fill My Gums With Blood being played on Radio 1. “It was quite crazy,” recalled lead vocalist, Felix Bushe, “at the time I don’t think we had any real expectations for our music to really go anywhere, other than from the room we were making it in. It was quite crazy how quickly things changed.” From that point on, there was a lottery feeling for the band as they didn’t know what was to follow, they eventually played at 2014’s Glastonbury Festival and then went on to huge arena tours supporting both Alt-J and Wolf Alice, before releasing there universally-lauded debut in 2015’s A Dream Outside.
Being back in the studio after two years of touring should have been a joyous feeling for the band, consisting of Felix Bushe, John Victor, Hugh Schulte and Danny Ward, especially with the promise of there being a second album. But problems arose when they ran into an age-old problem, second album syndrome. This led to completely starting over with everything. “We just didn’t feel comfortable with what he had, we felt like we hadn’t done the songs justice recording wise,” explained Bushe, “I think as an artist, it is important to not have any regrets putting out records early, thinking we could of done this or that different to make it better.”
Their new album, Where Wildness Grows, shows how far the band and their music has come from A Dream Outside’s moody and melancholic feel, to an album that is filled with experience, raw emotion and a newfound freedom. Each song is connected not only to each other but also to the very core of Gengahr themselves –Including trademark falsettos from Bushe, notable lyrical switch ups and instrumentals so intricate that they draw you in for more. On this album, it is clear that the band has undoubtedly pushed themselves to be more experimental and shown that anyone can conquer second album syndrome effortlessly.
With a more earth down and human feel this time round, nature plays a heavy part on the inspiration and themes, as they wanted to be more personal not only to themselves but to anyone listening to Where Wildness Grows. Each song in the album is a reflection of this, a metaphor for a deeper meaning behind the lyrics to connect with the audience at a more meaningful level. Felix explained that the single Carrion, which means the decay of flesh, was a metaphor to reflect the feeling of social neglect and the general feeling of being unwanted. As a whole, the band wanted Where Wildness Grows to be more connected and grounded, showing their growth as a band and displaying to their audience a different side of them.
Upon the announcement of Where Wildness Grows, Gengahr also announced details of a twelve-date tour in support of their second album. Drawing from their experiences of playing arenas, Gengahr only has one end goal for this tour, and that’s to make sure everyone has a good time. “Our goal for a live show is to try and do the best show for everyone coming. It does change from show to show,” Felix then, pointed out, “I think you just have to adapt and play in a way that seems most appropriate for that type of crowd you’re performing for. Most importantly, just have a good time.” Gengahr are currently touring the UK, after already stopping in Leeds and Manchester, they are set to come to the Haunt in Brighton on Wed 2 May.
Having been out since March, With Where Wildness Grows has seen Gengahr gain more recognition and surely will continue to do so. Yet the most important thing to happen for the band, is to see the people who have evolved with them, rediscover their music all over again as they head in a new direction.
Gengahr are set to play this year’s Standon Calling, returning to Hertfordshire between July 26th-29th. For more information, and ticket details, head to here